“I can’t believe you’re Mormon.”
“I can’t believe you still think that hairstyle looks good on you.”
I’m not good at being tactful. I do try though and there are these moments in which I surprise myself with how amazingly subtle I can be. However, my being subtle is usually premeditated in regards to getting some much-needed information from a teenager.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with a few irritants of my fellow siblings in Christ. Before I joined the Church, I thought I’d never fit in because HELLO! MORMONS ARE FREAKING HAPPY AND PERFECT. My happiness usually stems from kicking back watching a UFC fight with The Husband. Obviously, not exactly ‘Mormon Mommy” behavior. Yet, not long after I joined, I realized, rather quickly, that Mormons are not perfect. They were not always happy. And I knew some to let their hair down and even shout: “Oh my heck!” You know, all ghetto like.
With the realization that my fellow Christian siblings were imperfect, I found myself torn with my feelings. On one hand I was relieved. I didn’t have to try to be something I wasn’t. Yet, on the other hand, I was disappointed. If they were perfect and their life was filled with hot cocoa, rainbows and jelly beans then I had a shot at having that too. I mean, C’mon? Who hasn’t wanted to have a little part of their life resemble the children’s cartoon Little Bear? Tranquil days filled with talking animals who normally would want to eat you, but have decided to be your friend because…YOU GUESSED IT: you were Mormon.
Being a convert is a challenge, especially when you’re married to a non-member. A friend of mine who is a convert in another religion told me she has the same feelings of inadequacies as I do.
“I always feel I have to know a little more church history than anyone else. I feel like I’m going to be tested on everything…which is silly, because the main reason why I joined my church was to develop a better relationship with Christ. My religion doesn’t teach or even condone the things I find myself feeling.”
I could relate.
Last Sunday, I had a meeting with my Bishop and I confessed to him my lack of testimony concerning callings. In the LDS church, ‘Callings’ are assignments or positions in which church members are asked to serve. In our church, we are asked to serve one another. We are taught that these callings are important and prayed about before the callings are extended. Usually, a calling for a person lasts a few years.
But not for me.
I’ve had five callings in two years, none of which have lasted more than a few months. With the exception of one calling, I never have felt it fit me or was a benefit to anyone else.
You don’t choose or request your calling (even though I do mention what I’d like to do to anyone in the church who will listen.)
The thing is I have seen and felt good about others’ callings and felt it was divinely inspired. But just not with me.
And this is where the insecurities begin. I couldn’t help but wonder if the reason I wasn’t asked to having a calling that was more “my style” was because I was a convert with a non-member husband. Perhaps I couldn’t have a calling that I felt was important because I couldn’t handle it…being that I was all a convert and watched rated R movies. (It’s okay though. They were violent R-rated movies. Not sexual. See? I’m doing so well.)
More than anything…how could I inspire anyone when I couldn’t even inspire my husband to embrace the Gospel?
I had been invited by another ward last year to speak to the young women about chastity and modesty. I speak at other churches sharing my story with mental illness, addictions and letting go of the past. I can’t help but question why I’m not asked by the members of my own ward to share my talents. (Which is talking…if you haven’t guessed that already.) Why am I not benefiting others in my ward by what I know how to do instead of being asked to bring a jello salad to a church gathering when I have no idea what a jello salad even is?
In my prayers yesterday, I started out by whining to my Heavenly Father. “Why, why, why? So not fair. Blah…blah…blahblahblah.” On and on I vented about how unfair it is to be a convert. How terrible it is that not all my children want to go to church. Why couldn’t God slap some faith into The Husband so I didn’t have to be at church spouse-less?
Mid-whine, I felt the Spirit and the words: “It isn’t about you. It’s about Me. It’s about your brothers and sisters.”
That’s what I would call being slapped by The Spirit upside your head.
Being truly humble and serving others with a whole heart isn’t your spotlight moment. It isn’t about how great and caring you are. It’s about the persons you are serving. It’s about God. It’s about His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s about love.
I started to think about my past callings and I realized that I could see how in even the smallest way, I was a benefit to at least one person. It may not have been huge or seen by anyone…but God showed it to me.
Today, I’ll be thinking about faith. I’ll be thinking of others and how I can meekly serve them with a humble heart and a giving spirit.
It’s not always about me. But it is… always about God.
Scriptures to Ponder On:
Fight the good fight of faith. – 2 Timothy 4:6-7
Glorify God by good works.- Matthew 5:16
Hold up God’s light. -3 Nephi 18:24